Four aging City buses are being replaced with new ones, largely through a federal grant administered through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). The new buses are the 2017 Ford Cutaway E450 model, replacing four of the City’s oldest buses.
The new buses offer state-of-the-art features including more safety components for the lift, a more efficient heating system, and digital displays on the exterior to identify routes clearly and bright.
City of Marion Transportation Director, Jeff Edwards, said the grant helped them replace more buses this year than last year. The capital grant is comprised of 80% federal ($244,000), 10% state ($45,000), and 10% local ($45,000) dollars.
The total fleet of 13 buses is now made up of 4 2017’s, 5 2016’s, and 4 2010’s. The old buses have been sold to fund future Transit needs.
The Transportation Department also obtained new on-board video cameras through a separate INDOT grant with the same structure. That project cost was $60,000, and the City’s $6,000 match will be paid through bus advertising. Edwards explained the grant was pretty competitive as many cities had applied and were not awarded. The cameras will be installed in the spring and will enhance security for the Transit system.
Edwards said he’s thrilled with the great things happening through Transportation. “With over 1,000 passengers/day, we serve more people in a day than any other agency in Grant County. Our operation has been in the background, however, we are fulfilling needs of people by taking them to work, medical offices, shopping centers, events, and more. We’re proud to offer free Transit and want to keep it that way, and we’re always looking to improve.”
The City has fulfilled many compliance and special training requirements in order to achieve these grants.